Fishlake National Forest

Skyline National Recreation Trail

Welcome to the Skyline National Recreation Trail located on the Beaver Ranger District of the Fishlake National forest. The trail was placed on the National recreation Trail System in 1979. The trail follows the craggy peaks of the Tushar Mountains and gives the experience of being on top of the mountains near the "skyline." This trail is a pathway to beautiful mountain vistas and grassy meadows accented by flowers, rocks, and gurgling streams.

Please follow a few simple guidelines to maintain the beauty of this sensitive mountain area:

* Do not use motorized vehicles on the trail.
* The entire length of the Skyline Trail, from Big Flat to Big John Flat, is closed to all motorized travel.
* Resist the urge to pioneer a new trail or to cut across a switchback.
* Please carry out all your trash. Go a step further and carry out trash left behind by some less thoughtful people.

Safety Tips

We want you to have only enjoyable and memorable experiences while on the National Forest. For your safety, please consider the following:

* Never travel alone; let others know your destination.
* Check the weather forecast before all trips to avoid dangerous weather conditions.
* Carry adequate quantities of food and water. Map, matches, and a first aid kit are also a good idea.
* Look for trail markers and follow them. They will keep you on safe and interesting trails.
* Purify drinking water from lakes, streams, or springs. High country waters may be infected with giardia, a parasite that attacks the intestinal tract.


The Big Flat Trailhead lies 22 miles east of Beaver just off SR-153. The trail is identified by a road sign about 0.25 miles south of the Big Flat Guard Station where the road leaves the timber and enters the Big Flat meadow. The trailhead lies 200 yards east of SR-153.

The Lake Stream Trailhead is located several miles northeast of Puffer Lake. To reach the trailhead from Beaver, drive east on SR-153 for 19 miles to Puffer Lake. Turn north on Forest Road 129 and travel 1.5 miles to the northeast. At the junction with Forest Road 642, turn to the left onto this road. The trailhead is at the end of the road about 1.5 miles to the northeast and is signed.

The Big John Flat Trailhead is located approximately 16 miles east of Beaver on SR-153. At this point, turn north onto Forest Road 123 and drive another 4 miles to Big John Flat. The trailhead is on the north end of the Flat on the east side of the road and is signed.


Distances are calculated from the Big Flat Trailhead.
North Fork of City Creek Trail #071 1.5 miles
City Creek Peak 2.3 miles
Bears Hole Trail #072 to Ten Mile Trail #073 3.7 miles
Lake Peak 5.3 miles
Lake Stream Trailhead 5.6 miles
Cottonwood Lake Stream Trail #219 3.8 miles
Big John Trailhead 8.3 miles


The Trail crosses terrain ranging in elevation from 10,100 feet to 11,100 feet above sea level. Mountain peaks seen from the trail have elevations of 11,165 feet (City Creek Peak) to 12,73 feet (Delano Peak). The Circleville Valley - Piute Reservoir area, the lowlands to the east of the trail, lie at 6,000 feet elevation.


As a whole, the Skyline Trail is easy to moderate. However, at least three sections of the trail are strenuous with grades of 8 percent or more. These sections tend to be short with the longest stretch no more than 0.5 miles in length. (Link to the map)


Snow normally blocks the trail until about July 1 and some snowbanks remain into August. Snow again accumulates in late October or early November. Thus, trail use is about 4 months long. However, detours around or over snowbanks may be necessary for the first few weeks of the season.
Flowers and Wildlife

Meandering through thick stands of spruce, fir, and aspen, the trail crosses open meadows of grass and flowers. During the month of July, meadows seem to glisten with bluish-purple waves of larkspur and lupine.

Approach the meadows quietly and you might see browsing deer and elk. Rocky Mountain elk, found in nearly all of the western United States, calve once a year, usually in May. Upon reaching maturity, full-grown elk can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds.

Watch for mountain goats on the open, alpine tundra covered slopes of the Tushar peaks, particularly the Delano-Holly ridge line. Originally, 25 goats were transplanted on the Forest during 1986 and 1988. The goats are cooperatively managed with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to maintain a herd of 120 goats today.

You may see eagles soaring near the mountain peaks. The golden eagle, a permanent resident in Utah, is about 3 feet long with a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet. Eagles nest in the rugged cliffs throughout the Tushar mountain range.

And, like the eagles of the sky and the creates of the forest, leave no trace with your passing.

Contact Us

Beaver Ranger District Beaver County Sheriff
P.O. Box E (435)438-2862
575 South Main St.
Beaver, UT 84713
(435) 438-2436